WASHINGTON — First order of business: How do you say her name? Is it “Sheila” or “Sha-LEE-uh”? Neither — it’s Shuh-LAY-ah.
Person: Austin Boyd
Thing: Book—Nobody’s Child
Place: West Virginia
Idea: Austin Boyd explores the complicated possibilities that could stem from human seed donations, when a single, pregnant attorney in this story, seeks out her egg donor when she learns she has a life-threatening medical condition. Plenty of drama in this easy-to-read bioethics suspense novel.
Here are some of my favorite tweets from the chat between @nextgenradio (Doug Mitchell) and @deenapierott (Deena Pierott) and Howard University Middle School students. There may be a few repeats from the above curated story. I learned or was reminded of several lessons:
Person: Colin Powell
Thing: Book—It Worked for Me in Life and Leadership
Place: Various and sundry
Idea: This week’s Review is of General Colin Powell’s latest release, and it’s a handy book of experiences and advice called “It Worked for Me—In Life and Leadership.”
Former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell shares a number of life lessons that have shaped him and have lent themselves to a successful military career and as a public servant.
The principles behind each of the 44 chapters are summed up in the first chapter called “My Thirteen Rules,” my favorite of which is Rule number two: “Get Mad, then get over it.” It may be rule number two, but it’s not a crappy thing to keep in mind!
Now, the rest of the book is arranged into chapters that are solid enough to stand alone. This book is an easy read for big bookworms, and kind of reminds me of one of those pocket Bible verse books that have biblical passages picked out to address a variety of daily feelings and concerns. If you feel lonely, turn to this verse. (PIP). If you’re discouraged, turn here (PIP).
Well, in Powell’s book “It worked for Me in Life and Leadership,” his relatable reference points range from self knowledge, acceptance of and caring for others, keep up with technology, and what it takes to get up to that point where you’re actually giving more than what you thought was possible in the first place. That section is titled “Getting to 150 Percent.”
This week’s Book is by Andrea Palpant Dilley—and it’s called Faith and Other Flat Tires.
The daughter of Quaker medical missionaries, a daughter raised in the respect, fear and admonition of the Lord. She finds herself in a real-life Pilgrim’s Progress—but this memoir details Andrea’s journey from faith to faith, by way of skepticism.
Stuff got real when she actually **GASP** pried the Ichtcus (the fish symbol) from her car.
Now—the thing about Andrea’s memoir—it isn’t remarkably tragic. Just the opposite. It’s extra-ordinarily Christian, but I’d say her walk addresses some bumps that I even wonder if some people in the Christian community even address. Or do they just go along—secure in familiarity and comfy social structure. Can’t help but wonder that sometimes. Andrea’s doubts lead her away from that comfort, on a search for something more meaningful.
So she went—a-questioning in her teen years, a-scraping the fishy decal from her car during her college years, a-drinking, and a-dating—as she traveled the road to meaning and—ultimately—faith.
What I like most about this book is that the end is not so definitive. Yes, she found a re-discovered faith in God, but it is not cliché’ and clear-cut and totally question or doubt-free.
I recommend this read—especially for anyone of a church-y background—who is traversing the terrain of spiritual and/or religious angst. There just might be comfort in Andrea’s story.
Person: Joyce Magnin
Thing: Book—Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus
Place: On the roads of the USA, from Pennsylvania, to California
Idea: Harriet Beamer’s husband is dead, and her son and daughter-in-law now live in California—so it’s just Harriet and her dog, Humphrey. But unfortunately, Harriet falls, hurts her ankle, prompting her son and daughter-in-law to urge Harriet to move from Pennsylvania to California.
Harriet resists—but gives in—with a catch: She insists on seeing the country—using ground transportation the entire journey.
Armed with a fancy new smartphone, she begins her trek. A number of adventures later, including meeting up with and befriending a dance troupe, being kidnapped, and having a medical emergency that prompts her son and daughter-in-law to come after her—Harriet—resolute, strong as ever—insists on boarding the final bus that will carry her into Grass Valley California—which will be her new home.
This is a lovely book, full of whimsy and fun. And I admire Harriet—even though she is a fictional character. She has guts, man!
If you want a quick, fun read about an ordinary character that steps out of her comfort zone—this books for you!
Jason Nelson’s single “Shifting the Atmosphere” swiftly shifted its way through the Gospel music world. Not only is this tune blessing many, it’s also managed to maintain a prominent place on Billboard’s Gospel Songs chart for 39 weeks.
Liz had the opportunity chat with Jason Nelson about the 32nd season of Bobby Jones Gospel, a weekly staple in the Gospel music community. Nelson also gave his perspective on events that were hot topics at the time of the interview. The controversy discussed actually calmed in the weeks following this interview, but is still making occasional reappearances in the news.
Enjoy the interview, comment, and subscribe on YouTube!
What’s amazing about Richard Smallwood, is the fact that people told him that his music wouldn’t sell. Planet Noun’s Liz Anderson found that almost unbelievable—because she’s been a fan for years—and one of the key features of his music—is its timeless, classic sound.
Liz had an opportunity to talk with Smallwood for a few minutes about his latest projects, including an autobiography that’s in the works—complete with information about his genealogy!
The main idea is pretty clear in the title. Heather Kopp is a Christian. And she was a straight up drunk. The book opens with her waking up in the guest room of her home—when she guesses why she spent the night there—again. Yup—she was wasted the night before. From the preface, she admits she didn’t even have a inkling that the end of her days drunken-dom (yes I just made up a word) were before her—but she writes:
“So instead, God comes to us disguised as our life, wooing is through our misery toward surrender.
At least, that was how it was for me.”
And from the moment she had a near out-of-town-shopping meltdown trying to lay her hands on some booze to slip in her purse in order to get her through a long evening—only to discover the beers she finally scored were too huge for her purse. So she dashed to a Sears, purchased a whopping purse with which she would carry her liquid sanity. But it wasn’t sanity. From this point, she was on her way there—with sobriety at the finish line.
Sober Mercies is hilarious. It is—no pun intended—sobering as well. This honest look at the underbelly of Christian existence—no wait—it’s not the underbelly—it’s just the human side of the Christian experience, and I love this book for this reason.
Tamela Mann has enjoyed phenomenal success since the August 2012 release of her album “Best Days”, a GRAMMY ® nomination.
To celebrate the official (albeit quiet) launch of Planet Noun, enjoy our inaugural YouTube video, which was released two days before August 2012 release of “Best Days”. Mann discusses the album and the lyrical resonance the hit song “Take Me to the King” has had with the public. She also gives a sneak peek into a new cooking show that she and husband David have in the works.
Mann, her husband David, and her son were all warm, gracious, and yes—David Mann is hilarious in real life. If Ms. Tamela’s entourage is any indication of her personal priorities, the sweet fragrance of a loving family must be at the tip-top of that list!
Find out about this and more—on Planet Noun—where we cover people, places, things, and ideas!